Well-known throughout Newfoundland and Labrador and across Canada for his work with Aboriginal Peoples in the education sector, Gerald Anderson has been appointed vice-president indigenous with University of the Arctic (UArctic).
Mr. Anderson will provide strategic oversight of indigenous perspectives within UArctic and ensure that UArctic contributes to the well-being of northern indigenous communities while continuing his role as director, development and engagement at the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University.
UArctic is comprised of some 150 universities, colleges and other organizations, including Memorial University, committed to higher education and research in the North. It builds and strengthens collective resources and collaborative infrastructure that enables member institutions to better serve their constituents and their regions. Through cooperation in education, research and outreach UArctic enhances human capacity in the North, promotes viable communities and sustainable economies, and forges global partnerships.
Dr. Gary Kachanoski welcomed the news of Mr. Anderson’s appointment. “His proven leadership with aboriginal groups across Canada and elsewhere makes him the ideal person to ensure the indigenous perspective within the University of the Arctic,” said Dr. Kachanoski. “I look forward to an enhanced working relationship between Memorial and UArctic. The University of the Arctic is an important enabler towards Memorial’s priority to be a leader in northern and Arctic education and research.”
Mr. Anderson succeeds Dr. Keith Chaulk, the former director of Memorial University’s Labrador Institute, and will serve an initial three-year term (2015-2018) effective immediately.
Mr. Anderson is excited by the opportunities the role presents. “As vice-president indigenous, I look forward to developing meaningful partnerships between UArctic and indigenous communities and their organizations,” explains Mr. Anderson. “I want to explore methods to combine academic research and traditional knowledge in a way that is meaningful to northern communities. I see mobility services for indigenous students as a priority as well. I’ll be meeting all indigenous groups across the Arctic and learning how UArctic can assist with solutions to northern challenges.”
The vice-president indigenous is part of the UArctic’s senior leadership team, known collectively as the Ma-Mawi, which provides strategic leadership and overall coordination of the university’s operational activities and ensure their development and delivery. Mr. Anderson will also sit as a member of the Board Executive committee and ex offico member of the Board of Governors and indigenous issues committee.
Born in L’Anse Aux Meadows, N.L., Mr. Anderson joined the Fisheries and Marine Institute in 1987 and has worked for over 27 years in various roles with Indigenous groups in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nunavut, and Nunavik, primarily focused on establishing fisheries and marine education and training programs.
Mr. Anderson helped developed Fisheries Development Training plans for Nunavut, Nunatsiavut, Innu Nation, Federation of Newfoundland Indians, and the Labrador Métis Nation. He worked closely with the Miawpukek First Nation in Conne River to develop and deliver a long-term fisheries and marine training program.
Mr. Anderson works to see youth gain employment in the fisheries sector and marine transport industry by bringing the training to those who would otherwise be unable to access the necessary education.
In February 2015, he was recognized with the national Indspire Award in environment and natural resources for his work to strengthen fisheries and marine education in Nunavik, Nunavut and Labrador.